Heifer-Quieting – Day One

Loaded up the feed truck with tubs and pails of grain and headed west to our pasture to visit those lovely heifers. What a beautiful warm October week I have been blessed with to take on this mission. To think that just barely a week ago we were blanketed…no, almost buried under 9 inches of moisture-filled snow just flabbergasts me. But this is just how Alberta can be….blink or sneeze and our weather will do a full 360 turn!

My first solo visit out to these girls was not without it’s anxious moments…which is not uncommon for me and my predicaments. As can be seen by the deep tire tracks in my short video clip, I almost got my big old 4×4 stuck in the soft moisture-soaked terrain of the pasture.

 

Happily, the heifers came from the other end of the pasture to my voice…my non-descript call that has morphed into what you hear in the clip and what used to be “cu-bus”. As I said, non-descript word and non-descript sound but they do recognize me and they do come a-runnin’ from way across the field. THAT was a reward to start. I chummed around with them for a bit while they snacked and even had a few gals come up for a selfie with me (see above).

The weather continues to summer-ize for the next few days so hoping for drier conditions at next visit and even more besties in my domain.

P.S. I should maybe clarify that what you may have heard me say at the end of my video was not “a swear” but rather I was declaring “as they should”.

Goofy Girls

I have an important self-imposed assignment this week. I have taken it upon myself to quiet down our herd of bred heifers that are presently out on their own pasture an hour away from the homeplace. We want to be able to “quietly” trail them from one pasture to another pasture next Sunday, along a public gravel road, to get them to the corral system we use to eventually load them before the real winter snow arrives. We have become highly motivated to start this “moving” activity since the recent, unwanted snowfalls have hit home.

My assignment then is to travel to them every couple days this week with grain in pails and hang out with them and talk “softly” to them – get them in a mood to “want to” follow me whenever they next see me again. This, because I will be the one to lead them to the second pasture as my hubby takes the tail-end and pushes them to me.

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We visited them today and realized we hadn’t been visiting them enough over the summer…they are a goofy, jumpy, flighty bunch of girls. I’m trusting that by hanging out with them quietly and serenely with my pails of grain and soothing conversations we can all become the best of besties and that they will behave with charm, grace and compliance during their short journey next Sunday.

Twin Tales

Ahhhhhh…always a joyous sight to come across a cow who has just delivered twins. Lively twins too and up and ready to suck right away. Sure makes up for the drama and losses of last week when we were just getting underway with this season.

The weather forecast for tonight however, alerts us of snow to come so we decided these little treasures would be best off in the barn tonight.

How do we do that? The hubby lifts them up into the back of our ATV and FlickaRancher sits on ’em (gently, I do!) all the way to the barn. Good thing we’re into the end of the cold season because those two little poopers sure messed up my gloves!

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Next we walk momma from the field through the muddy corrals right to the barn where she can sense her little ones are near. She was very willing to be guided….didn’t even mind the pooch close to her heels. She just wants her babies!!

And they wait patiently cuddled together just inside….not so sure of what-on-earth happened to them.

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Scooped off the lovely straw bed, basking in the spring sun and temporarily snatched from momma, sat on by a two-legged human in a noisy machine, bounced over the choppy frozen terrain to be unceremoniously plopped into a big old barn. Momma looks at me as if to say…….”After all this “well-meaning” human intervention…it better snow tonight!!”

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My Faith

Part of keeping a blog is staying regular with one’s posting. A strategy towards that end is to have a scheduled (somewhat) feature that keeps one focused towards that end. To me, a feature on this blog must also represent what is important and meaningful to me. There are five “F’s” that guide me personally and keep me grounded on this earthly journey:

Faith – Family&Friends – Farm – Food – Fun

All in this order. Because it is my five “F’s” – I give myself permission to have a double-F as #2.  Therefore, in light of the most important of my “F’s” – FAITH….my new feature will highlight scriptures that, again, keep me grounded and help guide me through this challenging agricultural industry we have chosen as our livelihood.

My Project

Back in the archives of this blog is a story titled “Gentle Assist” (April 14,2015). It’s about our blind calf from cow #8U and how we gently assisted him to find his mom to suckle in his early days of existence. Well the “little” fella has thrived over the past eight months. Living close to home and to us to keep a watchful eye has provided him a fairly pampered life. Turns out he and his mom did quite well finding each other in the fields of our home. He would sniff her out quite well while they lived in a pen together and as he grew older we found he could roam around our pastures and she would always seek him out for his daily feed.
But the day came to wean him and now he’s ” my project”. Every single year, it seems, I get a “project” amongst our calves. A “project” means a cripple or disabled critter of some sort or another. So 8U’s calf (known as Ugo) now resides in his very own pen which used to be home for the kids’ 4-H calves, complete with shelter, straw bedding, hay and chop hand-delivered throughout the day and two visits from me with water from the pail. As soon as he feels my hand by his mouth he knows the pail of water is next. Weaning hasn’t been stressful for him at all. Being disabled for this little hombre has turned into a delightful life experience.
I figure this special treatment is the least I can do for him before he ends up in our freezer. Because, sadly, that’s where he’s bound. His condition will not favour us in the sales ring but he’ll certainly help us out in the grocery department.

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